Sweet n Savory Cafe owner Rob Shapiro has partnered with developer Jim McFarland to turn the 8,200-square-foot building at 909 Market St. into a second location for the restaurant, according to Jonathan Hicks, director of sales and community relations at the cafe.
McFarland purchased the office building in 2016 for $1.1 million as part of his plans to develop the "Soda Pop District" under Osprey Lands LLC. McFarland also purchased the former Coca-Cola Bottling property at 920 Princess St. for $1.5 million in 2015, as well as 1002 Princess St., the home of the area’s first cooperative brewery, Tidewater Brewing, which is now under construction.
From the start, McFarland planned to transform 909 Market St. into a full-service restaurant, and the partnership with Shapiro brings on board an experienced restaurateur who is eager to fill a niche in the up-and-coming area.
Hicks said that while the menu at the new location will certainly contain some of the signature dishes that Sweet n Savory is known for, such as shrimp and grits, they are looking to put a new twist on things.
“While we will certainly be bringing the same level of quality and service, we are already reaching out to the community to see what they would like to see in the new restaurant,” Hicks said. “We want this to be a place that the community helped to build.”
Hicks said the building’s redesign will include an open, multi-level dining experience that will appeal to all demographics.
Construction is expected to begin in August, and a spring 2019 opening is anticipated.
Meanwhile, Chef Peter Meriam and Sous Chef Noa Sanchez have redesigned Sweet n Savory’s dinner menu for the summer, incorporating many of the fresh, vibrant flavors of the season.
Highlights of the new menu include mussels steamed with jalapenos, garlic and cilantro; braised pork belly with cacti salad, yucca, and an ancho chili sauce; a southwest crab and lobster salad with green beans, tomato, avocado and lime; soda pop glazed short ribs; and a variety of USDA Prime steaks.
“We’ve incorporated some of the bold, refreshing southwestern and Latin flavors that are perfect for summer, and elevated our steaks to the fine dining level,” Hicks said.
Also new is an assortment of fresh vegetable sides such as roasted cauliflower, grilled asparagus and grilled corn on the cob. Guests can create a plate of three sides, perfect for family-style dining or vegetarians.
The cafe at 1611 Pavilion Place in Wilmington is now serving a three-course pre-fixe dinner on Friday and Saturday nights for $19.99, and the menus, focused on local, seasonal ingredients, change weekly. There are also chef-inspired specials that run every night of the week, including deals on drinks, appetizers, entrées and desserts.
“Overall it’s not just about the food, but about the experience,” Hicks said.
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